While watching CNN, I saw a very self aware 17 year old girl from California who turned a scary situation into a valuable example. Evidently she'd been exposed to a safety lesson, self defense course, or knowledgeable parents who prepared her. She was aware and ready, not a defenseless and vulnerable target. When she was approached by her attackers, she fought back with her baton, an item that was an everyday object for her, and it ended up keeping her safe and probably saving her life!
So, what is in your immediate environment that can be used as an improvised weapon? First, you need to know the definition of an improvised weapon. It is anything that can be used as a weapon but its actual purpose is for something else.
Take a break and make a mental list of these types of items that are at your daily disposal in your car, purse, pockets, backpack, briefcase, desk, garage, kitchen, bedroom, office, etc. Plan now so that if you are ever attacked, it will come as second nature to you to use something as a weapon, especially when you don't have a real weapon on you. It seems that criminals can quickly think and use items as weapons on you or your property, so don't give them a chance to think or act; you be the one who acts so that they have to react (retreat)!
When you are inside your car, what is the first thing you would grab if a road rage warrior smashed in your window and attacked you? I would use my visor pepper spray, but that's not an improvised weapon. The hard corner of your PDA (personal digital assistant) or cell phone, an ice pick, your tire thumper, or a heavy duty flashlight would do the trick. But, if you are caught by surprise when walking to or from your car, you could use your car keys or a pen, if you don't have the heart attack gadget or a kubotan attached to your key ring.
If you're like me, you've got it all in your purse: cell phone, jewelry, safety pins, tweezers, pens, and a fingernail file. Or, inside your briefcase might be a PDA, a hardback book, nail clipper, specialty tool, pens, a belt, or an electrical adapter with prongs that could nicely punch in eyeballs. Think like the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and imagine the many uses for items that have been banned on airlines.
Inside your garage, shed, and home, you probably have tools, books, sports equipment, hot liquids, caustic liquids, glass mugs and pitchers, umbrellas, and kitchen utensils. These items all have a second use as improvised weapons.
Outside, you may have immediate access to branches, rocks, broken glass, or debris - anything that could interfere with the attack long enough for you to startle the assailant and make your escape to safety. In your own yard, it would be wise to hide any exposed items that could be used against you or just to be aware of their placement.
I always have a real or improvised weapon in hand or close by; not that I'm paranoid, I just like to be prepared. You can make a game of locating improvised weapons wherever you are; be aware and don't be caught empty-handed!